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Pattern: Selective interchange axis

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Part of a 5-fold Pattern Language.
Subsequently published in Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential (1986)

Pattern template

Effective selective interchange within a domain is achieved by harmonizing the dynamically incompatible requirements of high-intensity non-local relationships and low intensity, local relationships. This can be achieved by arranging that selective interchange axes cut across non-local relationships, providing local relationships between them.

Physical The viability of shopping centres depends on an appropriate compromise between their accessibility from major roads and the convenience to pedestrian shoppers. This can be achieved by arranging that pedestrian shopping streets cut across major roads, linking parallel roads, and providing parking space behind the shops.

Social The viability of environments (such as meetings) for effective exchange between groups depends on an appropriate compromise between their accessibility through structured mass communications pathways and the necessary low key informal interactions between participants. This can be achieved by arranging that low key communication environments cut across major lines of communication, providing a link between them.

Conceptual The viability of environments for the cross-fertilization of ideas between different frames of reference or schools of thought (such as in knowledge representation systems) depends on an appropriate compromise between their accessibility through structured high speed information systems and the extended time period required to reflect on new ideas. This can be achieved by connecting local (or personal) information systems enhancing cross-fertilization to different data networks.

Psychic The viability of conditions for the cross-fertilization of personal insights depends on an appropriate compromise between exposure of the individual to a continuing stream of impressions and the possibility for the individual to filter out irrelevant impressions in order to focus awareness on those which remain. This can be achieved by alternating attention, for appropriate periods of time, between the stream of impressions and a focused awareness, thus maintaining continuity of awareness between the two modes.

Broader Context boundary; Access to intensity; Web of selective interchange; Cycle of relationship reinforcement; Compensating relationships in parallel; Coherent pattern of relationship densities.

Narrower Flexible interfaces; Adaptive interstices; Diversified interchange environment; Hospitability of communication pathways; Coherent pattern of relationship densities; Intersection of differently paced communications; Limitation on number of occupiable temporary sites; Exchange contexts controlled by a single perspective; Distinct pattern of entry points to complex structures; Concealment of necessary monotonous perspective patterns; Arrangement of structures ot engender fruitful interfaces; Interfacing vehicles of communication and networks of unmediated relationships.

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